Stanley Robert McDougall VC.

Stan McDougall, soldier and forester, was born in Recherche in Tasmania on 23 July 1889 and became a blacksmith.

Illness prevented him from enlisting in the AIF until 31 August 1915 when he was posted to the 12th Reinforcements of the 15th Battalion.

In Egypt, on 3 March 1916, he was drafted into the 47th Battalion and embarked for France in June. The Battalion fought at the famous battles at Pozières in August 1917 and later at Messines and Broodseinde.

Stan was promoted to Sergeant in January 1918.

At Dernancourt on 28 March, he saw the enemy knock out a Lewis gun position. McDougall then attacked two German machine-gun teams, killing their crews by firing back with the Lewis gun. He then attacked a second wave of Germans, burning his hands on the hot barrel casing of his gun. When a German officer aimed his pistol at some Australians, McDougall killed him with rifle and bayonet. Twenty-two Germans were killed and 30 were captured, largely because of McDougall’s actions.

For his actions at Dernancourt Stan was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Eight days later, at the same place, McDougall won the Military Medal, taking over the platoon when his commander was killed.

After the war McDougall became an officer with the Tasmanian Forestry Department, and later, as inspector-in-charge of forests in north-east Tasmania.

He performed outstanding work during bushfires.

Stan McDougall died in Scottsdale on 7 July 1968.

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